Causeway Coast Amateur 2017

The Causeway Coast Amateur Golf Tournament enters its 5th Decade and continues to be the largest amateur golf tournament in Europe. Their 2017 tournament will be played over 4 superb links course – Ballyliffin Golf Club (Old Course), Castlerock Golf Club, Royal Portrush Golf Club (Valley Course) and Ballycastle Golf Club from Monday 5th – Friday 9th June 2017.

Ballyliffin Old Course

The tournament is a 72 hole event, with a rest day in between to recuperate from the test the links courses will provide and maybe to shake all some of the tiredness from the social element too! Participants are able to book into any of the below play orders, by choosing their rest day and time, subject to availability. Rest days are allocated on a first come first served basis, with the tournament organisers doing their best to accommodate all requests.  The field is limited to 144 participants per day. with the order of play as follows:

  1. Rest Day, Ballyliffin, Castlerock, Ballycastle, Royal Portrush
  2. Ballyliffin, Castlerock, Ballycastle, Royal Portrush, Rest Day
  3. Castlerock, Ballycastle.  Royal Portrush, Rest Day, Ballyliffin
  4. Ballycastle,  Royal Portrush, Rest Day, Ballyliffin,  Castlerock
  5. Royal Portrush, Rest Day, Ballyliffin, Castlerock, Ballycastle

Ballycastle GC

Participants are invited to a Welcome Event held at Royal Portrush Golf Club on Sunday 4th June. There will also be a Bushmills Distillery Tour & Entertainment on Wednesday 7th June with the Closing Event & Prize Giving being held at Royal Portrush Golf Club on the Final Day.

Tournament Terms and Conditions

The Causeway Coast Golf Tournament is open to Amateurs with an official club handicap of 20 or less. Each player must carry a current handicap certificate on each day of the Tournament. A current handicap certificate must be submitted with entry form.

Castlerock GC

The overall competition is run on the Stableford system. Concurrently with the main Tournament a Subsidiary Competition is run on each course with a separate trophy and prizes for the best score returned.

Entrance fees:

  • Host Club Members £75
  • GUI Residents £150
  • Visitors £200
  • Entrance fees include all green fees.

Withdrawals will only be refunded provided they are notified before Friday 21st April 2017.

All players must be members of Golf Clubs recognised and affiliated to their country’s governing body and must have an official club handicap. In accordance with 2016-2018 CONGU Unified Handicapping Scheme all scores in this competition must be returned to the home club by the player concerned – see Clause 8.12 The Handicap Committee of the home club will consider them in accordance with Clause 23a Annual Review or, if appropriate, for an immediate cut under Clause 23B – General Play Adjustment. The Committee reserves the right to revise any players handicap before or during the Tournament.

Entries will not be accepted from anyone under 18 years of age. Draws will be posted in Host Clubs the week preceding the Tournament. Entries close when the tournament limit of 800 is received.

For further information contact

History of the Tournament

The Causeway Coast Golf Tournament (CCGT) was first played in 1967 and has continued as an annual tournament every year since.

Royal Portrush Valley Course

The CCGT is owned by the four founding Golf Clubs – Ballycastle Golf Club, Castlerock Golf Club, Portstewart Golf Club and Royal Portrush Golf Club – with each member club nominating two representatives from their membership to run the tournament through the Tournament Committee.  In 2014, Portstewart Golf Club informed the Committee that they would be unable to take part in the Tournament due to other commitments.  This year, Portstewart will host The 2017 Irish Open and we wish them every success!  Due to this departure, Ballyliffin Golf Club was approached to take their place and they are a welcome addition to the Tournament.

The CCGT started off life as a small event, with the majority of participants coming from the host clubs. However, with the growth in popularity in golf in the 1970’s and 1980’s, coupled with the incredible value and quality of the host courses, the tournament quickly grew.  In the late 1990’s the tournament boasted over 1,100 participants.

2017 is a very exciting year for the Causeway Coast Golf Tournament as we enter our fifth decade. It is a fantastic Tournament and a massive achievement to be celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year, I just hope I can make it to play!


SM Open Scotland – Aberdeen Event 2017

We are delighted to launch our 2nd Scottish Tournament taking place in Aberdeen at Trump International Scotland, Cruden Bay Golf Club & Murcar Golf Links from Wednesday 12th – Friday 14th July 2017! The event will be run in conjunction with Tournament Partners, Deeside Golf Tours in Scotland.


Day 1 will take us to Trump International Golf Links Scotland in Aberdeen on Wednesday 12th July 2017. This 7,400 yard, par 72 championship golf course was designed by renowned golf course architect, Dr. Martin Hawtree, and follows a classical pattern of two out-and-back loops of nine holes. All 18 holes thread their way engagingly through The Great Dunes of Scotland; rising to find panoramic views of the North Sea and dramatic coastline, and plunging into secluded valleys rich with native vegetation.


The 2nd Round of Social Media Open Aberdeen will be hosted at Cruden Bay Golf Club on Thursday 13th July. This amazing Links Course offers an internationally famous golfing experience – old fashioned links golf at its best – on one of the best links courses in Scotland. Cruden Bay creates unique challenges demanding the skills of power, placement and fine judgement upon the discerning golfer. The course is set against a backdrop of subtly contoured greens and magnificent panoramic views and when you read the list of recent accolades it is easy to understand why it is so popular

  • 2012 in “Golf World Magazine” 2nd Top Fun Course in Great Britain & Ireland
  • 2013 in “Links Magazine USA” 54th Best Course in the World
  • 2013-2014 in “Golf Digest Top 100” 70th in the World
  • 2013 in “Golf Course Architecture Magazine” 29th in the World (voted by over 240 golf course architects from 28 Countries)
  • 2015 in “Golf Magazine52nd in the World

The Final Round of Social Media Open Aberdeen will take place on Friday 14th July at the majestic Murcar Links. The par-71 layout features in the Top 100 courses in the UK and is in the VisitScotland Top 40 Great Scottish Links Collection as evidenced by the fact that in 2005, it hosted pre-qualifying for the British Senior Open. Recently it has also hosted  the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Northern Open in June 2014 and in 2013 the European Boys Team Championship. In 2009 hosted the European Challenge Tour’s Scottish Challenge and the British Boys Plate. It is a venue held in high regard and we are delighted to be concluding our Aberdeen Tournament on this fantastic course in July!

The Format of the Event will follow past Tournament in that it will be Pairs so Team of 2 – both scores to count holes 9 & 18 and 1 to score on 1-8, 10-17 (3/4 Handicap Applies). Our Golf Only Package is £349 per person / £698 per Team of 2, Play & Stay Packages to be finalised very soon. If you have any queries or would like to enter a team please call +353-87-6453537 or email! In the meantime give us a Follow on Twitter and a Like on Facebook!


Social Media Open Portugal 2017

The Inaugural playing of The Social Media Open Portugal will take place from Friday 10th – Sunday 12th November 2017, in the Alvor region of the Algarve and will present the challenge of 3 of the best golf courses in the area to test the teams that will be competing to become the 1st Social Media Open Portugal Champion! The Tournament will be played at 3 of the Pestana Resort Courses – Silves, Gramacho & Vila Sol with accommodation available at the picturesque Pestana Dom Joao II Hotel.


Day 1 of SM Open Portugal will take place at Silves Golf Course on Friday 10th November 2017Silves is a serene spot at the foot of the Monchique mountain, but it is anything other than ‘a walk in the park’ – a drive at the opening hole has to flirt with water hazards on both flanks. This course is for all levels of players – low handicaps will find it a serious challenge to come in under par while high handicaps, with a bit of courses management, will thoroughly their round. Most holes offer spectacular mountain views overlooking palm trees and olive groves, the surrounding cork and citrus farms generate a true feeling of authentic Portuguese golf. We look forward to starting our Inaugural here in November!


The 2nd Day of SM Open Portugal will be hosted at the Gramacho Golf Course on Saturday 11th November 2017. Having hosted the Portuguese Ladies Open on a number of occasions Gramacho is indeed recognized as a championship course. Designed by Ronald Fream, who also designed Vale de Pinta in the region, teamed up with the former world No. 1 Nick Price to create the unique design of Gramacho. With 18 holes & 27 greens, plus numerous different tee box locations, players are able to enjoy the same course time and time again but always with slightly different challenges.


The Vila Sol Golf Course will be the venue for the Final Round of The Social Media Open Portugal on Sunday 12th November where the Inaugural Champions will be crowned! Designed by renowned golf architect Donal Steel, the Vila Sol course was opened in 1991 and is a superb test of golf. The course is planned to give all visitors who come to play a golf course where the preservation of the natural environment is sharply in mind. This plan consists of pine, almond & fig trees, plants, flowers, lakes and streams, which all add to the pleasure and challenge of playing this championship golf course. Located in the Central Algarve, the Vila Sol Hotel and Golf resort is set in 75 acres of natural beauty which includes the Championship Course and also the 9-hole Academy course.


The Format of our Inaugural Tournament will encapsulate the same setup as The Social Media Open, Social Media Links Challenge and Social Media Open Scotland before them – Team of 2 with 1 score to count on holes 1-8, 10-17 and both scores to count on 9 & 18 (3/4 Handicap applies) with Stableford scoring each day. The Tournament Packages are as follows and include all Tournament Rounds of Golf, SM Open Portugal Goody Bags and All Prizes!

  • 3 Rounds of Golf & 3 nights’ B&B – €299 per person sharing (€598 per Team of 2)
  • 3 Rounds of Golf & 3 nights’ B&B – €349 per person sharing (€698 per Team of 2)

If you have any queries on The Social Media Open Portugal or would like to enter a team please email or call +353-87-6453537. You can also give us a Follow on Twitter or Like us on Facebook, hope to see you in Portugal this November!!

Father & Son Tournament at Dooks

Dooks Golf Links celebrates the hosting of “The Kingdom Father & Son” Tournament on Friday 21st April 2017 as the Inaugural hosting of the Event! The Tournament will feature a Foursomes format and with its staging on during the Easter Holidays it gives the opportunity for both young & old Father & Son teams to compete in the Event on one of Ireland’s best links courses.


The Glenbeigh Golfing Gem has been welcoming golfers for over 125 years now and continues to be a firm favourite with Members & their Guests, Tourist Golfers, Golf Societies and Green Fee paying Visitors alike! Dooks Golf Links is a superb venue as we saw first hand at the 2016 Society Challenge hosted there on Saturday 29th October, and we hope to return there later this year as well!

Dooks is also a superb club to join as a Member and they have various Membership categories available including their Links & Lakes Membership with Killarney Golf & Fishing Club.

Dooks would love for you to join them for their Inaugural Tournament in April and the timesheet is open, and filling up fast!! You can book online via their Open Competitions section, by email via or by phone on +353-66-9768205. The entry fee is just €60 per pair (€30 per person) which is amazing value for a golf course of that quality, with some fantastic prizes available the day. Do you want to be the Inaugural “Kingdom Father & Son” Champions? It’s times like these that I wish my “auld fella” played golf!


The Mental Fundamentals of Golf

It’s great to have another Guest Author on the Blog, we hope you like this article from Matt of!

It’s fair to say that at least half of the game of golf is played inside your head. There’s as much technique involved with keeping your head in the right place for the length of a game as there is for placing the ball. Of course, it always helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve, especially when you get yourself in trouble and frustration rears its ugly head. The following techniques should help you stay out of the pain cave and focused on what really matters — having fun.


Pre-Shot Routine

Having a set pre-shot routine is absolutely critical. It prepares your body and mind for the shot. The pre-shot routine should get you lined up and ready to swing, as well as clear your head so you can step up to the tee and trust your ability to hit the ball without over-thinking.

A good pre-shot routine goes something like this:

  1. Stand ten feet behind the ball and imagine a line through it to the target
  2. Picture a line through the ball to the target
  3. Choose a spot on the line to focus on three to four feet in front of the ball
  4. Approach the ball and position your clubface behind the ball, perpendicular to the target
  5. Position your feet while staring at the target
  6. Choose a spot (probably a dimple) on the ball to aim for
  7. Trust your fundamentals and swing

Develop a shot strategy

Even the pros don’t always put the ball exactly where the want it. In fact, many pros will tell you they hit their target about two-thirds of the time. One in three shots off-target is the norm, and these guys are the best in the world. What you’ll notice as you watch a tournament, however, is the pros’ uncanny ability to miss to the correct side, leaving themselves a solid follow-up shot.


The trick is to determine where your perfect shot would fall, then determine which side and distance you’d be OK with missing to. Then aim between the two. This may require using a different club than you’d use for the perfect shot; that’s OK. Giving yourself a wider margin of error will give you more confidence and, inevitably, shave strokes.

Have a default shot

One bad shot can cause a lot of trouble. If poorly managed, that one shot can come back to haunt you later — it can even ruin your game if you let it. There are lots of techniques that are designed to help you let go of the frustration and move on with your game. One very effective technique is to fall back on old reliable — use a club that will help you rebuild your confidence, even if it’s not the perfect club for your next shot. Take a swing with the 6 iron if that’s comfortable, or maybe an 8 that you can play form any lie. The idea is to get confidence back in your swing, and a comfortable club can often do just that.

Introduce Distractions

Another way to stay loose during the game or forget about a bad shot is to create a distraction. Strike up a conversation with a golf buddy on the way to the next hole, and make it about anything BUT golf. Just taking your mind out of the moment should help put things back into perspective and relive a little of the intensity that can make the game more serious and take away some of the fun. This technique can be applied to life away from the course, as well. If you find yourself obsessing about the game when you’re at work or driving your wife nuts by talking about golf all the time, it may be time to add another hobby — one that’s not golf-related, like fly-fishing or pool.


Golf’s mental aspect can be as intimidating and as difficult to master as its athletic aspect, and the mastery of both can take decades of constant training. Fortunately, there are a few techniques that you can use to control your mental game … think of them as the “mental fundamentals.”

Bio on the Guest Author:

Matt is an avid golf enthusiast and part of the team. When he’s not working on his fairway shot, you will find Matt writing about his passion for the process of the game.